Lately, when I’m really having a good COVID-19 freak out – and when I really read the latest Scary Things sometimes I do – I have learned to take a moment of pause and remember one of the most fabulous ladies I’ve ever known, my dear Grandmother’s mother, my great Grandmother Humphries.
She was sweet and strong, so gentle yet astonishingly tough.
She was born in 1900 and lived to be 101, passing away in 2001. She was completely herself until she had a series of strokes in the last few weeks of her life. She survived heart issues, a broken hip, being told she likely had lung cancer in her early 90’s (she went home and carried on), the loss of her oldest son in World War II, the death of her husband in the 1960’s. . .
All the while, she never left her home.
In addition to her children, she had well over 100 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
Still, we all knew we were loved and valued.
When I was young, she would occasionally come and stay a few days with my Grandmother – who lived next door to me. I would get home from school and she would have made a huge batch of her candied yams for my Uncle Mark, who worked just over the hill at Coca-Cola, and me to share. They were our very favorite food on the planet. He would come by and we would eat them out of the cast iron skillet with a fork.
At the time, she would have been in her late 80’s – but that wouldn’t stop her from looking after us. ❤
And no matter how she was feeling or what was going on, she was up and dressed and waiting for us every Saturday when we went to visit her.
In 1997, when I was 18 and she was 97, she sent my birthday letter with $5 as she did every year until she died:
I might have been one of 100 – but I never felt that way. None of us did.
She was a precious lady.
In thinking through her life, she lived through some incredible things: the Spanish Flu of 1918, World War I, The Great Depression, World War II, Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, The Gulf War, and many events in between those.
I’m sure, at times during each crisis, it felt as though there was no end in sight and I’m sure it was frightening. (She was only 18 during the Spanish Flu pandemic.)
No matter what came her way, though, – even the unbearable loss of her firstborn to war – she clung to her faith and persevered , and, eventually, things got better.
My own precious Grandmother was just like her, wonderfully sweet and unbelievably strong.
So, when I’m overwhelmed, either by the state we are all in with this pandemic – or by my own health situation – I remember that I come from a line of tough women – and that I am one of them as well.
I remember that, though this is awful right now, better days will come again.
I know we just have to keep pushing onward.
Be well, everybody.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and Blessings.